Date: 1929
Brand: Lucky Strike
Manufacturer: American Tobacco Company
Campaign: Mass Marketing Begins
Theme: Targeting Women
Keywords: Woman, female, body image, weight, health, toasted
Quote: To keep a slender figure no on can deny

Comment: Lucky Strike launched the Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet campaign in 1928 in the hope of attracting more female customers. The campaign is said to have been inspired by the 1891 slogan Reach for a Vegetable Instead of a Sweet, which was used to advertise Lydia Pinkham s Vegetable Compound to women. Lydia Pinkham is considered a pioneer in marketing to women, coining such slogans as A Baby in Every Bottle. Lucky Strike s highly successful campaign was eventually derailed by threats of litigation from the candy industry. The tobacco industry later promoted candy cigarettes.

Mass Marketing Begins

As the threat of tobacco prohibition from temperance unions settled down in the late 1920s, tobacco companies became bolder with their approach to targeting women through advertisements, openly targeting women in an attempt to broaden their market and increase sales. The late 1920s saw the beginnings of major mass marketing campaigns designed specifically to target women. Cigarette manufacturers have for a long time subtly suggested in some of their advertising that women smoked, a New York Times article from 1927 reveals. But Chesterfield s 1927 Blow some my way campaign was transparent to the public even at the time of printing, and soon after, the campaigns became less and less subtle. In 1928, Lucky Strike introduced its Cream of the Crop campaign, featuring celebrity testimonials from female smokers, and then followed with Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet in 1929, designed to prey on female insecurities about weight and diet. As the decade turned, many cigarette brands came out of the woodwork and joined in on unabashedly targeting women by illustrating women smoking, rather than hinting at it.

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